A Spark: Poem by Shridhar Nandedkar

Photograph by MP Pratheesh

ठिणगी

ही एकोप्याची संहिता
का एवढी जिव्हारी लागते तुझ्या ?

एवढं लक्षात ठेव
पाखरु कोंडून ठेवलं
की गाणं वणव्यासारखं
पसरतं जगभर

त्याच्या चोचीतली
वाळलेली काडी
खरतरं असते
घर उभारण्यासाठी
पण तुझं वागणं असं
की तिच्यात उमटतेय
एक आगीची ठिणगी

छातीच्या रुंदीवरुन
ठरत नसतो पुरुषार्थ
आणि संवेदनशीलता
ठरत नसते
मगरीचे आसवं ढाळून

खरतर ती ठरते
आजारी पाखराबद्दल
तुम्हाला काय वाटतं त्यावरुन

तू ज्याला कोंडून ठेवलं आहेस
त्याचं गाणं
आमच्या कंठात रुजलय

कलावंताला मिळतो लोकाश्रय
सत्तेची झूल सांभाळायला मात्र
लागतात भाडोत्री भाट

हवेचा अंदाज घे
आणि उघड पिंजऱ्याचं दार
नाहीतर सांभाळ तुझी
स्वप्रतिमेत गुंफलेल्या
सोनेरी अक्षरांची शेरवानी

ठिणगी फार वेगानं
आगीत रुपांतरीत होत असते

-श्रीधर नांदेडकर 

 

A Spark

Why does this text of harmony
prick you?

Never forget:
Even the song of a caged bird
can spread all over the world
like wildfire.

That dry straw in its beak
may be for a nest.
But what you do
lights the spark, sets it ablaze.

It’s not the size of the chest
that makes a man.
Crocodile tears
do not show sensitivity.

It is what you and I feel for the sick bird.

The song of the bird 
which you have caged
is deeply rooted in our throats.

Yes, people take care of an artist.
The powerful need bards
to speak and sing about them.

Feel the changing direction of the wind.
Open the door of the cage.
Else take care of your coat
designed in narcissist letters of gold

A spark becomes a wildfire very quickly.

You can also read the poem in Assamese, Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, and Kannada.

Shridhar Nandedkar is an eminent Marathi poet, editor, translator. He teaches English and currently resides in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
Dileep V Chavan teaches English language and literature, writes columns for newspapers and translates poetry and prose from/into English, Marathi and Hindi. His translations and articles have appeared in Indian Literature, Voices, Muse India and The Nilgiri Wagon. He is currently working on the translation of GN Devy's A Question of Silence from English to Marathi.